Vietnamese State President Truong Tan Sang has shared with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper the importance of removing obstacles to boost economic development for northwestern Vietnam, considered the country’s ‘fence and hedgerow area,’ thanks to its frontier position.
The northern border region is the national ‘fence and hedgerow area,’ where people in the most far-reaching parts of the country have spent generation after generation protecting Vietnam’s sovereignty and boundary.
Over recent times, the government and the Party have implemented multiple mechanisms, policies, programs and projects for eco-social development, public security and the improvement of living standards for the people of ethnic groups in remote or border regions.
Despite these efforts, compared with regions countrywide, the northwestern border area is still affected by poverty and has underdeveloped infrastructure as well as poor eco-social development.
Therefore, it is the duty of all agencies and society as a whole to find solutions that leverage the economic potential of the area in order to help border residents, especially the underprivileged, to have a better life. Only with a stable life can these people focus on building their own families, and on continuing to protect the country’s boundary.
Kids are pictured in northeastern Vietnam.
I have personally worked with leaders of the northwestern and northeastern regions many times, and was the head of the steering board for the development of the northwestern region. This has given me many chances to understand and share the hardship of my compatriots in those areas. At the same time, I was also able to feel the potential for economic development, particularly tourism, in the frontier region.
Besides the renowned attractions such as Dong Van Karst Plateau [in Ha Giang Province], the beautiful buckwheat crops across the [northern border] region, and the rice terraces in Hoang Su Phi [also in Ha Giang], there are many other rural areas and villages, whose beauty is the pride of the Vietnamese people, including Lung Cu [Ha Giang], Ban Gioc Waterfall [Cao Bang Province], and Ba Be National Park [Bac Kan Province], among others.
Besides the rich natural landscapes, the distinct cultural characteristics of the ethnic minority groups in the northwestern and northeastern regions are also appealing to foreign tourists.
Boosting economic development in the country’s ‘fence and hedgerow area’ will not only create the conditions necessary for investors to create projects there, but also generate jobs for the local ethnic minorities, contributing to the effort to reduce poverty and stabilize the community.
A tourism map of Vietnam's northern frontier area
Indeed, many resort and hotel projects in the border provinces have given a facelift to the area, creating jobs for locals and boosting the economy.
With standardized lodging places now available, tourists can stay longer and spend bigger. The resorts and hotels also help attract investors of other sectors to come to the region to invest or expand their business.
In the lively and happy atmosphere of the coming Vietnamese Lunar New Year, I would like to express a strong belief that the border, ‘fence and hedgerow’ areas will succeed in attracting more attention from local and foreign investors.
I also appreciate businesses that are pioneering, building resorts and tourist areas in the region, such as those in Ban Gioc, Ba Be, Lao Cai Province and Quang Ninh Province.
The presence of these projects has built trust among other investors, as well as created a belief among local residents that a happy life and bright future await them.
Besides efforts from investors, the government should also increase investment in infrastructure development.
With a joint effort from different investment forces, I expect that the northwestern and northeastern economic areas will soon experience breakthroughs in eco-social development.
A developed economy will give the region a facelift, in conjunction with stable politics and fortified national defense, which will also lay the foundation for the eco-social development of other provinces in the region.
This story belongs to a series of articles about Vietnam’s northern frontier region.
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